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Traditional Protein vs. Novel Protein - Choosing the Right Dog Food for Your Pet

When you're looking out for your furry friend's well-being, choosing the perfect dog food is key to giving them the best nutrition possible! One of the key factors to consider is the source of protein in your dog's diet. Protein plays a crucial role in promoting stronger muscles, improving nerve function, and aiding in cell creation. However, not all protein sources are created equal, and understanding the differences between traditional protein and novel protein dog food can help you make the best choice for your pet.

Traditional Protein Dog Food

doag eating Regular Protein dog food

Traditional protein dog food typically includes protein sources that are commonly found in most commercial pet foods. These proteins are well-recognized by dogs and are frequently sourced from animals like chicken, beef, lamb, and may also include plant-based protein sources.

Here are some key insights into traditional protein dog food:

  • Familiarity: Dogs are more accustomed to traditional protein sources, making the transition to this type of food relatively easy. It's also the protein source most commonly used in commercial dog foods.
  • Protein Quality: When opting for traditional protein dog food, it's essential to look for products that feature high-quality animal proteins as the primary ingredient. The order of ingredients in dog food can provide valuable insights into its composition.
  • Balanced Nutrition: The ideal quantity of traditional protein for a dog's growth may vary depending on factors like age, breed, and activity level. Consulting with a veterinarian can help determine the right protein levels for your pet.

Novel Protein Dog Food

Novel protein dog food includes protein sources that are not commonly used in mainstream pet foods. These proteins are referred to as "novel" because dogs have limited exposure to them. Novel proteins are increasingly popular, especially for dogs with known food allergies or sensitivities.

Examples of novel proteins include Asian carp, duck, rabbit, salmon, bison, herring, insect-based dog food.

Benefits of Novel Protein

Novel protein dog food offers several advantages:

  • Reduced Allergy Risk: Novel proteins are a valuable tool in managing allergies and food sensitivities in dogs. They are less likely to trigger allergic reactions, making them an excellent choice for dogs prone to allergies.
  • Muscle Growth and Gut Health: Novel proteins support muscle growth, promote a healthy gut, and strengthen bones. 
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Some novel protein sources are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to heart health and a strong immune system.
  • Lower in Calories and Fat: Novel proteins are often lower in calories and fats compared to traditional proteins, making them an excellent choice for weight management and overall health.
  • Easy on Digestion: Novel proteins are typically raised without the use of antibiotics and pesticides, resulting in cleaner and easier-to-digest protein sources.
  • Sustainability: Novel protein sources are more environmentally sustainable compared to industrial farm-based traditional proteins, reducing the ecological footprint.

Choosing the Right Protein for Your Dog

The choice between traditional and novel protein dog food depends on your dog's specific needs and circumstances. Here are some considerations:

  • If your dog has a history of food allergies or sensitivities, novel protein dog food may be a better choice.
  • Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best protein source for your dog, taking into account their age, breed, and health status.
  • Introduce novel proteins gradually to diversify your dog's diet and reduce the risk of food intolerances.
  • Regardless of the protein source, prioritize high-quality dog food from reputable brands that meet AAFCO standards.

Why Opt for Novel Insect Proteins?

While a number of novel protein sources are currently available, insect proteins seem to be receiving the greatest attention. 

Benefits of insect protein dog food

Insect protein is truly a superfood! This protein itself (without additives) meets AAFCO requirements for dogs in so many areas – not bad for one of the smallest animal protein sources out there!

Pets plagued by constant itching or upset stomachs can experience a significant improvement in their quality of life by transitioning to a diet featuring novel insect proteins. By harnessing the power of insects, our canine and feline companions receive all the essential amino acids found in larger animals while enjoying a delicious, palatable meal.

Moreover, novel insect proteins aren't just beneficial for your pet; they're also environmentally friendly. Research indicates that insect protein offers a sustainable solution, reducing the environmental impact associated with traditional meat and soy proteins commonly used in the industry.

Novel proteins are often associated with qualities that make them appealing to health-conscious pet owners. They are more likely to be free from added growth hormones and antibiotics and frequently come from free-range sources. This is because these unique proteins are less likely to be produced in large factory farms, such as those that raise chickens and cattle.

Benefits of Feeding Your Dog a Novel Protein Diet

Opting for a diet featuring novel proteins can provide various advantages for your pet's overall health and well-being:

1. Excitement and Enrichment:

Novel Protein has various flavors

  • New proteins introduce enticing flavors and smells to your pet's meals, making mealtime an exciting experience.
  • Variety in flavors can stimulate your pet's interest in their meals, which is particularly beneficial if you rotate your pet's diet among different protein sources.
  • Pets, much like humans, appreciate variety in their diet. A rotation-based diet can help sustain their interest over an extended period without relying on additional food toppers.

2. Insect Protein is prebiotic for dogs:

insect protein prebiotic for dogs

  • Insect protein contains fibers, such as chitin, that are different from the dietary fiber found in foods like fruits and vegetables. Fiber serves as a microbial food source and some fiber types promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics.

3. Decreased Risk of Allergies:

  • Feeding your pet a variety of novel proteins may reduce the likelihood of them developing allergies or food intolerances.
  • Overexposure to common proteins like chicken is a leading cause of allergy symptoms in pets. Providing a variety of novel proteins can help prevent this issue.

3. Delivering superior nutrition - Increased Exposure to Nutrients:

insect based dog food nutrition graphic

  • Novel proteins offer a broader range of micronutrients and vitamins, which is essential for your pet's overall health and nutrition.

In conclusion, embracing novel protein dog food can offer a range of benefits for your pet's health and happiness. By diversifying their diet and providing unique protein sources, you can enhance their well-being while mitigating the risk of common pet food-related health problems.

At Jiminy’s, we have invested in the science behind insect protein. Jiminy’s nutrient dense, baked dog food combines insect proteins with plant based ingredients, creating a complete balanced dog food with a hugely reduced impact on the environment.

Try Jiminy's novel protein dog food

If your dog needs a tasty, gut-friendly, balanced and delicious dog food, made with insect protein, try Jiminy’s full selection of dog food here.